Earth Changes


60% of China's water "too polluted to drink"

Forget bank-runs, the water run has begun in China. Residents of the western city of Lanzhou rushed to buy mineral water earlier this month after local tap water was found to contain excessive levels of the toxic chemical benzene. But that is the tip of what is a massive problem facing the Chinese people.

Not only do they suffer choking smog day after day, but, as The Business Times reports, sixty per cent of underground water in China which is officially monitored is too polluted to drink directly, state media have reported, underlining the country's grave environmental problems.

Water Wars
© Zero Hedge
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.6 - 94km S of Port Hardy, Canada

Port Hardy Quake_240414
Event Time
2014-04-24 03:10:12 UTC
2014-04-23 19:10:12 UTC-08:00 at epicenter

49.846°N 127.444°W depth=11.4km (7.1mi)

Nearby Cities
94km (58mi) S of Port Hardy, Canada
159km (99mi) W of Campbell River, Canada
177km (110mi) W of Courtenay, Canada
202km (126mi) WNW of Port Alberni, Canada
336km (209mi) WNW of Victoria, Canada

Technical Details
Red Flag

Renowned NYU Professor: GMOs could literally destroy the planet

© Shutterstock
What effects will the genetic manipulation of nature have on our worldwide ecosystem?
Nassim Taleb, a renowned New York University (NYU) professor recently raised eyebrows when he said genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have the potential to cause "an irreversible termination of life at some scale, which could be the planet."

Taleb, who specializes in risk engineering, has outlined the dangers of GMOs in The Precautionary Principle, a paper recently made available to the public.

Loud boom in Florida blamed on military aircraft

Two Eglin Air Force Base jets were the source of explosion-like booms heard in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties this morning, according to Eglin officials.

The 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron is conducting a training mission in the county this morning, officials said.

A spokesperson for Eglin confirmed the booms this morning were most likely a pair of F-16s performing a close air support test mission.

Comment: Another mysterious boom in Ocean City, Maryland reportedly caused by sonic boom


Another mysterious boom in Ocean City, Maryland reportedly caused by sonic boom

A loud boom on Monday, followed by windows rattling and homes and businesses shaking, was due to a sonic boom related to military jets in a testing track off the coast.

Many residents and visitors reported the incident shortly after noon on Monday and initially there were concerns it was the result of some seismic activity in the area. By mid-afternoon, the town of Ocean City issued a report stating, "we have received several calls regarding a loud noise in the Ocean City area. The reported noise appears to be a sonic boom. We will continue to monitor reports and update citizens if our initial information changes."

Comment: Sonic Boom
"Ground motion resulting from sonic boom is rare and is well below structural damage thresholds accepted by the U.S. Bureau of Mines and other agencies."

Perhaps something other than a sonic boom is being indicated:


Massive landslide threatens Mont Blanc tunnel in Italy

Mt Blanc tunnel entrance
© Christophe Jacquet
Mont Blance tunnel entrance.
A series of landslides over the past few days have disrupted traffic near Courmayeur, a renowned tourist resort in the Italian Alps, forcing temporarily closure of Mont Blanc tunnel, local reports said on Tuesday.

Around 20,000 cubic meters of mud and rock fell on Monday night, while another estimated 400,000 cubic meters of earth were on the move triggered by rising temperatures.

Local authorities reportedly closed Mont Blanc tunnel, which links Italy and France, for about two hours as a result of the crashing rocks

U.S. orange production hit by deadly bacteria, juice prices soar

© AFP/Robert Sullivan
A citrus disease spread by a tiny insect has devastated Florida's orange crop, which is expected to be the worst in nearly 30 years, and sent juice prices soaring on New York markets.

The culprit? The gnat-sized Asian citrus psyllid, which is infecting citrus trees across the Sunshine State with huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, which causes fruit to taste bitter and fall from trees too soon.

"It feels we are losing the fight," said Ellis Hunt, the head of a family-run citrus farm spread over about 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) in the central Florida town of Lake Wales.

The deadly bacteria has slashed his annual production over the past few years from one million boxes of fruit to 750,000.

4.4 earthquake in Slovenia, Italy, near nuclear plant

© AFP/Stringer
Krsko nuclear power plant
A 4.4-magnitude earthquake has struck Slovenia southwest of the country's capital, Ljubljana, at a depth of 12.4 kilometers, says USGS.

According to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center, the magnitude of the quake was measured at 4.5, with a depth of 2 kilometers.

The earthquake took place about 200 kilometers from a nuclear power plant at Krško, a town in eastern Slovenia. The plant is co-owned by Slovenia and Croatia.

The quake struck at about 11:00 local time (09:00 GMT).

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the quake hit about 5 kilometers northeast of the Slovene town of Ilirska Bistrica, 32 kilometers northwest of the Croatian city of Rijeka and 37 kilometers east of the Italian city of Trieste.
Red Flag

Large wildfire in Dutch national park

Netherlands wildfire
© Unknown
Hoge Veluwe National Park
A large wildfire destroyed at least 530 hectares (1,300 acres) in the Netherlands' Hoge Veluwe National Park on Sunday, one of the worst fires seen in the region for decades, Dutch authorities said.

No injuries have been reported, according to Mayor Cees van der Knaap of the municipality of Ede, 65 kilometers (40 miles) east of Amsterdam, which oversees the park.

Large whale carcass found in Dalian sea, China

© Sina Weibo
A dead whale measuring over four meters long was found floating belly-up in the sea area off Changhai County, Dalian, Liaoning Province, on April 19, a netizen said on his Sina Weibo account on Saturday. The whale was most likely killed by unexpected strikes, judging by the bruises on its belly.